Monthly Archives: January 2014

Freedom, the state, and what Orwell got wrong


“Boing Boing co-editor and sci-fi author Cory Doctorow explains the idea behind his novel Little Brother, which he describes as “related” to George Orwell’s 1984 in that both explore similar themes of technology and control. Although Doctorow argues that Orwell may have underestimated the ability of technology to empower individuals, he warns that future technologies may allow governments more control over their citizens — and parents more control over their children — than ever before.”

Assignment: Watch the video and write a 500 word reflection piece. What’s one thing about which Doctorow strikes you as clearly right? What’s one thing about which you think he’s wrong? What’s one question you’re left with at the end? Give examples and reasons.


How to write a philosophy paper

by Professor Angela Mendelovici

Facebook privacy

Privacy Check: See What The Public Sees When They View Your Profile!

“Facebook is a great site to share life’s moments with family and friends, but how much of your personal/private information are you exposing to the world? Find out in one click with this official Facebook link:

This is a link to Facebook’s own feature that shows you what your Timeline looks like to the Public – that is, anyone with a Facebook account. If you don’t like what you see, you better dive into your privacy settings!”

Assignment 2: Write a 500 word reflection piece on your relationship with Facebook on privacy. Read “The Internet privacy paradox revisited, “ by Alyson Leigh Younga & Anabel Quan-Haase Information, Communication & Society, Volume 16, Issue 4, 2013,

Reflect on what aspects of your Facebook profile you make public, which you keep private, and why. View your public profile, as instructed above. Did you find any surprises? Do you have any strategies you use to keep certain things private that weren’t mentioned in the Young and Quan-Haase paper above? Is privacy important to you? Why/why not?
If you don’t use Facebook, you can write about another social media such as Tumblr, Snapchat, or Pinterest. If you don’t use any of them, write a reflection essay on your choice not to. Were privacy considerations a factor? What, if anything, do you think you’re missing out on by staying away from social media?
You can write your reflection response as comment here or in the OWL forum. Due Wednesday January 29th by noon.

CFP: Cyber harassment

The Oxford Cyber Harassment Symposium will be held on 27 and 28 March 2014 at the St Edmund Hall in Oxford University.

  “Cyber harassment is a relatively new phenomenon resulting from technological advancement and the widespread use and acceptance of technology among people. Cyber harassment is the unsolicited and repeated use of electronic information and communication devices such as email, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, cell phones, gaming systems and defamatory websites to bully or otherwise harass an individual or group through threats, intimidation and humiliation. Unlike physical bullying, where the victim can walk away, technology now allows for continuous harassment, from any distance.Both children (cyber bullying) and adults are affected by cyber harassment, and statistics indicate that its prevalence is growing. We call on stakeholders (parents, school officials, researchers, law enforcement, psychologists, lawyers, computer scientists, communication service providers and internet service providers) to seek solutions to this destructive phenomenon.You are invited to present a paper on an aspect of cyber harassment, or you may wish to attend as an observer. If you wish to present a paper you will be requested to submit a brief abstract for review by the Programme Committee. Papers presented will be subsequently peer reviewed by external readers for possible inclusion in Symposium books or as sponsored journal articles.”

Read more here.

Dealing with death in the digital age

Our lives are increasingly being monitored on social media. We’re inclined to share life’s biggest moments—births, graduations, engagements, and deaths of loved ones. But what happens when we die?

Yes, it’s a macabre thought. However many of us have experienced the passing of a loved one who lives on thanks to the memories and moments shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Lives are digitally saved to the internet, and the years spent posting status updates are now a fixed timeline reminding loved ones that we do—or did—exist.